Saudi FM: Yemen truce ‘must be extended’ but signs not positive

Update Saudi FM: Yemen truce ‘must be extended’ but signs not positive
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Iran-backed militia had failed to fulfil the commitments of the current agreement. (France 24)
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Updated 24 September 2022

Saudi FM: Yemen truce ‘must be extended’ but signs not positive

Saudi FM: Yemen truce ‘must be extended’ but signs not positive
  • ‘The indications we are seeing from the Houthis are that they do not intend to cooperate’: Prince Faisal bin Farhan
  • ‘We are of course committed to a resolution of this conflict, but if we have to defend ourselves we will’

RIYADH: The truce in Yemen must be extended, but the actions of the Houthi militia seem to indicate they do not want to lengthen the ceasefire beyond its expiry, the Saudi foreign minister said on Friday.

“We think it must be extended. However, the signs are not positive at this point,” said Prince Faisal bin Farhan. “Unfortunately, the indications we are seeing from the Houthis are that they do not intend to cooperate in an extension.”

He said the Iran-backed militia had failed to fulfil the commitments of the current agreement, and have now put forward demands that are unreasonable.

“I am very concerned by these developments because we will lose the momentum,” he added. “We are fully engaged with the UN representative and with others who are trying to convince the Houthis to extend the truce. Right now, the indications are worrying.”

A truce between the Houthis and the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen was brokered by the UN in April and is set to end on Oct. 2. 

The truce has brought a semblance of normality for Yemenis, and has enabled the government to begin providing more services to the public.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, said diplomacy has been wasted on the Houthis, who have repeatedly disregarded their treaty commitments.

Prince Faisal said the truce had created the possibility for wider peace in Yemen. “We have an opportunity here to build on a truce to work towards a permanent ceasefire, towards political dialogue. It is hard for me to understand why the Houthis would turn this down,” he said, adding that the militia’s proposals indicate “that they are looking for an excuse.”

The build-up of armaments as well as probing attacks on the frontlines by Houthi fighters indicate that they are seriously considering not renewing the truce, he told France 24 in New York.

When asked if war was back on the horizon in Yemen, he said: “Unfortunately, this seems to be what the Houthis want.”

The foreign minister reiterated Saudi Arabia’s commitment to finding a political solution to the conflict in Yemen, but said his country will do what is needed to defend its people if the Houthis return to hostilities.

“We are of course committed to a resolution of this conflict. We are committed primarily to a truce but, of course, if we have to defend ourselves we will,” he said.


Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN envoy

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. (SPA)
Updated 52 min 37 sec ago

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN envoy

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. (SPA)
  • The two officials reviewed the Kingdom’s political, economic, developmental, and relief efforts to support the Yemeni government and people

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber met with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The two officials reviewed the Kingdom’s political, economic, developmental, and relief efforts to support the Yemeni government and people.

They also discussed ways to strengthen and support UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to end Yemen’s crisis and support its security, stability, and development.

Grundberg said he also met with the new Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem Al-Budaiwi and senior Saudi officials to discuss ways to expand economic and humanitarian measures, and to progress toward a national ceasefire and an inclusive Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices.


Saudi crown prince discusses bilateral relations with Italy PM during call

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. (File/SPA/AFP)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. (File/SPA/AFP)
Updated 07 February 2023

Saudi crown prince discusses bilateral relations with Italy PM during call

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. (File/SPA/AFP)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed bilateral relations with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni during a telephone call on Tuesday.

Prince Mohammed and Meloni also discussed opportunities for joint cooperation and ways to develop them in a number of fields.


Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria
Updated 07 February 2023

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

RIYADH: The Saudi cabinet voiced its solidarity with Turkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes that ripped through the border area  between the two countries killing thousands and injuring thousands more.

The statement was made during Tuesday’s weekly Saudi Cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman, as the death toll exceeded 5,000, with tens of thousands more injured.

But international agencies like the WHO said the casualty number would grow significantly to thousands more.

The Cabinet statement published via the state news agency SPA said “the Kingdom expressed its solidarity” with the countries impacted by the earthquakes.

The first quake – of a magnitude 7.8 - struck the border area between Turkiye and Syria at about 4a.m. local time on Monday causing buildings to topple to the ground, their occupants caught unaware as they slept.

The second – 7.7 magnitude - quake struck the same area shortly before 2p.m. local time as search and rescue workers dug frantically through the rubble to find survivors.

There were two further earthquakes of a magnitude 5.6 and 5.7 on Tuesday morning as well as 312 aftershocks since the first quake struck.

The Cabinet also praised the bilateral ties between the Kingdom and Iraq and reiterated the Kingdom’s support for efforts made by the Iraqi government to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for its people.

It also reviewed reports on regional and international conferences recently held in Saudi Arabia to keep pace with the rapid developments and contribute to finding solutions to global challenges.


KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen

KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen
Updated 07 February 2023

KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen

KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen

DUBAI: Nearly 675 mines planted by the Houthi militia in Yemen have been dismantled in the Fifth week of 2023 by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief)’s Masam project.
The mine-clearing team removed a total of 384,980 mines planted by the militia across Yemen since Masam project started, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

Overseen by the KSRelief, special teams destroyed hundreds of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, unexploded ordinances and other explosive devices.

The KSRelief project, also known as Masam, is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia on the orders of King Salman to help the Yemeni people.

More than 1.2 million mines have been planted by the Houthi militia, claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians.

The Saudi project trains local demining engineers and provides them with modern equipment. It also provides support to Yemenis injured by the devices.


KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need

KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need
Updated 07 February 2023

KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need

KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s (KSRelief ) humanitarian efforts in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria continue with securing food parcels for people in need.
In Afghanistan the center distributed 650 food packages to families affected by the floods. And in Pakistan another 600 food parcels were distributed.
The agency has also extended its help to the Syrian people displaced in Jordan, in support to the education of Syrian refugees it distributed 3,262 school bags to students in Amman.